Sony stepped from the shadows of Oculus Rift during the Game Developers Conference 2014 in San Francisco for a project that is not new to the ears and visually what was seen in the past. Originally shown off to the public back in 2013 as a Head Mounted Display, it is on sale for a whopping $999.00 on Sony’s website.
PlayStation head Shuhei Yoshida revealed “Project Morpheus” expanding upon what is already provided by Sony. “Project Morpheus” is geared towards gaming 1st with a minor in multimedia. Yoshida, spoke on how the industry moved up until this point and how this new project would effect Sony and this was said;
“We believe Morpheus will further enhance the world of PlayStation 4 with seamless integration with PlayStation Camera, DualShock 4, and PS Move…may well shape the future of games.”
Dr. Richard Marks of Sony R&D elaborated on Sony’s Six Principle of VR on sight, sound, tracking, control, ease of use, and content. He pointed out that “Project Morpheus” will not be limited to just gaming. Pushing this idea Dr. Marks revealed that he is currently working on a virtual walk on the surface of Mars project in partnership with NASA. Sony believes that with their expansive knowledge in High Def audio/visual displays places them in a good advantage. It was also, revealed that “Project Morpheus” will take advantage of PlayStation 4’s technology such as PS Move, Camera, and Dual Shock 4’s glowing lights & sensors. While the final specs for this device is still a mystery to the general public, it was revealed that the current prototype does include a 1080P display with allowances of wireless audio headsets (probably, Sony branded) full 360 degree positional tracking, reportedly low latency. Sony showcased some compatible games for their VR display, one in which is a title previously slated as an Oculus Rift exclusive “EVE Valkyrie” along with an underwater adventure demo from Sony London titled “The Deep” and additional compatibility with the Thief franchise.
Before Sony’s newly revealed VR device at GDC 2014 Oculus’s VP of Product, Nate Mitchell had a conversation with IGN (Paraphrased):
“We’ve tried to assemble one of the best VR teams in the world and I think we’ve absolutely achieved that, as far as the competition goes we’ll have to see what they (Sony) will announce, we are all about having more people involved in the VR space, We are really hopeful that they do it right, what we don’t want is for someone to rush an experience out the door and deliver something that is sub-par, that isn’t that “holy grail” So, as long as everyone is delivering great VR at the end of the day, That is whats important.”
Microsoft, of course not to be left out of the fray has rumblings surrounding their mill of rumors too. Sources close to Wall Street Journal, if correct, reported that the hardware manufacturer has already filed one patent for the project and developed virtual reality devices. The project (Fortaleza) is expected to be in a “suite of experiences unique to Microsoft’s Xbox products.” Apparently Microsoft’s rumored virtual reality project uses augmented reality technology, which is already used in today’s mobile devices such as smartphones & tablets.
One thing is for sure this sure isn’t the early 90’s and these new-found devices are definitely not low-def red and black display i.e. Nintendo’s Virtual Boy.